SAFETYLINE 20

H & S UPDATE AUGUST 2002

Over the next 2 or 3 months, the University is to implement a regime of weekly testing of all fire alarms in our buildings, in order to comply with the requirements of the Fire Authority. At present there are around 95 buildings with fire alarm systems, around 25 of which are complex and which will continue to be tested by Technical Services staff. The remaining 70 buildings, however, have simple systems and in order to meet our obligations for testing we are contacting Heads of Departments to ask for volunteers from each department to test systems weekly. Safety Services or Technical Services staff will show volunteers exactly what to do to carry out the test for their buildings. We hope to have weekly testing implemented in all University buildings by the end of October which means that Technical Services will not be able to continue 3 monthly testing at all smaller buildings as at present.

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Safety Notices & Device Alerts received from the NHS: -

1.      Ambu infant/child single use Resuscitator Model A243004000, Serial Number OCN0105679, Lot number 243002619 resuscitators intended for US market have been distributed in the UK and fitted with an override clip that covers the 40 cm H2O pressure limiting valve with a consequential risk of overpressure.

2.      BD Hydrocath & Hydrocath Assure Central venous Catheters remote possibility of an immediate hypersensitivity reaction in adults and they should not be for Paediatric use.

3.      Vickers 165 Resuscitaire (integrated radiant warmer and resuscitation unit for use in delivery suites and special care baby units) servicing agents are reporting various age-related safety issues. Hill-Rom will cease to service these units from end January 2003.

4.      Oxford Major: Maxi & Midi Patient Hoists fitted with Oxford Digital Weighscales risk of spreader bar detachment.

5.      Oxford Major Electric & Hydraulic Hoists risk of mast failure on hoists with Serial numbers in the range OM(E)53100 to OM(E)72000.

Further details can be obtained by contacting Safety Services on 26198

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In early July a laboratory fire started when research work by a postgraduate student went wrong while sealing glass ampoules using a blowtorch. The blowtorch was dropped and the flame ignited waste combustible materials on the floor. The subsequent fire burnt through the gas supply pipes to the blowtorch adding gas to the fire. Quick action by departmental staff prevented serious damage to the laboratory at some personal risk. The incident clearly indicates that the risk assessment for the activity failed to identify the need to remove waste combustible materials from the work area prior to the activity commencing, and that measures should have been put in place to either prevent the blowtorch from falling, or to enable the torch to be extinguished quickly.

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Following recent concerns over the use of Mineral Water coolers in hospitals or offices, we contacted the Bottled Water Cooler Association who have advised us:

1. Not to use them where there are immune suppressed patients.

2. To use an association supplier (about 20 listed on their web-site).

3. To ensure the apparatus is serviced/sanitised at least every 3 months by the supplier.

4. In hospital environments, to change the water container at least every two weeks.

5. Not to refill containers from a tap.

For normal departmental use there should be no problem, provided these guidelines are followed

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HSE have produced a new leaflet providing simple practical advice on eliminating or reducing risks associated with compressed gas cylinders. Check www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/indg308.pdf.

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New Waste Procedures for the University are being developed and placed on the Energy & Environment pages on Estates Services web site. These cover all types of wastes.

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The Fire Training on 23rd August has been relocated to the Arts Tower Lecture Theatre 4.

 


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This information has been provided by b.a.coddington@sheffield.ac.uk,
The University of Sheffield